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Postgraduate research project

Experiments to generate macroscopic quantum states

Fully funded (UK and international)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

The University of Southampton is expanding its PhD research in the area of Quantum Technology Engineering. In addition to the research project outlined below you will receive substantial training in scientific, technical, and commercial skills.
This PhD project will probe into macroscopic limits of quantum mechanics. You will take part in generating macroscopic quantum states by putting nanoparticles in spatial superpositions analogous to matterwave interferometry. Modifications of quantum theory such as decoherence and collapse models predict that we will fail in this attempt fundamentally at computable levels of macroscopicity which is a superb playing field for testing conventional and less conventional fundamental physics ideas. 
We are working on setting up experiments to realise superpositions of record large (massive) particles by Talbot interferometry and by measurement-based schemes using dynamical non-linearities. Experiments use optical, electric, and magnetic trapping of massive particles in vacuum, a research field known as levitodynamics.
We are looking for students with a keen interest in table-top testing of quantum mechanics and in pushing the boundaries of existing experimental techniques who will join us in this amazing adventure. We are working closely with theoretical physicists on modelling our experiments as well as fundamental physics questions related to our experiments (mostly gravity-related ideas in the context of quantum systems) and the PhD project can be right at that interface between theory and experiment.